Sunday, April 17, 2005

Santo Subito!

1. one who initiates another into a mystery cult
2. one who understands or teaches mystical doctrines.
(from Merriam-Webster online)
My RCIA journey continues as I enter into a year long period as a neophyte ... a period of mystagogy. Our first meeting was held late this morning and, some hours later, I was able to find a few moments of quiet time to reflect on how much has happened in just over three weeks.
On Holy Saturday (March 26th) we, myself and the eleven or twelve other adults and children from my parish, joining in spirit with perhaps thousands of others from around the world, received the sacraments of baptism and/or confirmation, our first eucharist, and were welcomed into the Catholic Church. Since then we have attended mass and enjoyed the warm glow that accompanied the heartfelt "Welcome Home" we each received that night. Yet, juxtaposed against the celebration of our entrance into the Church, we watched as the health of our Holy Father deteriorated over the Triduum and, on the first week anniversary of our becoming Catholic, we learned of his death.

Of the thirteen days since then, three were spent with the body of the Holy Father in state, followed by the spectacular Funeral Mass on April 8th and then the nine days (Novemdiales) of official mourning. Over this relatively short period of time an amazing thing started to happen: the wisdom of the Church has slowly become clear as we moved towards the period of the Conclave and our sense of loss turns to excitement in anticipation of the gift of the next Vicar of Christ. Pope John Paul II (I almost typed St. John Paul, and hope that soon we will be able to do so) cannot be replaced. In fact, were were reminded at Mass today that the Cardinals will be electing the "next Bishop of Rome to replace Peter". And it seems that it is here when we new Catholics can join with all Catholics to become "new" again through the election of the 265th Vicar of Christ, hopefully sometime next week. Our sorrow over the loss of John Paul II may persist and our memory of him and his legacy may remain. But life will go on and the the Church will soon have a new steward at its' helm. And while we wait for that to happen I would like to add my voice to those who held up banners and shouted in St. Peter's Square...

Santo Subito!

Copyright©2005 jdwarrick    

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